Hi folks, I’m Renee and I am a recovering spend-a-holic. My husband Tom and I have paid off over $90,000 of debt in the last 7 years and I wish I could say there were major student loans in there, but there weren’t. We just sucked that much at managing our money. We downsized our house 3 years ago (check out the full story) and then we got seriously intentional about paying off our debt. Using the Dave Ramsey Debt Snowball we paid off $6,000 in 6 months. Now we are able to see the finish line of our debt that seems never-ending and I wanted to share with you the total truth about how I really feel about debt payoff after 3 intentional years.
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I wrote this post in a heat of sheer debt payoff frustration and anger. Spoiler alert: we did pay off debt! While this post is very real and honest, I also learned a lesson the hard way that I don’t share in the post. That lesson is that debt payoff doesn’t have to be THIS terrible. Check out my Money-Free Mind training on how to simplify money and your mindset around it.
When I was 8 my mom told me not to say, “this sucks.” One of my friends said it all the time and my mother felt it was wildly inappropriate and she’s probably right. But, for today guys, I’m just gonna be totally honest and say debt payoff sucks.
It sucks the life right out of you. When you are intentionally putting every single extra dime you have toward bailing yourself out of debt you start to feel drained beyond belief. How did I stay in debt for years and happily make massive monthly payments on things I didn’t really even need? Ick.
Once you set your mind to paying off debt you will go through times when you are highly motivated and feel like you can take on the whole world. Other times you want to throw a 2 year old style temper tantrum in hopes that someone just pays your debt off for you.
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m currently in the latter state of mind. The temper tantrum state of mind. Unfortunately, I’m not a toddler so I have to be a big girl, rise above, and dig myself outta this mess. Learn how to boost your money mindset.
I want my money back
Writing up that previous post about how we paid off $90,000 of debt made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. I mean, seriously. $90,000!?!?!? Why didn’t someone stop us?
I have spent hours just sitting around imagining all of the better places that money could have been spent! Savings, retirement, college funds, vacations, down payments. Do you know how much my house payment would be right now if I had $90,000 put toward a down payment?! It wouldn’t be very much, let me tell you…
That post made me angry. It lit a fire in my belly. It’s probably the reason I spent an entire week eating donuts and pizza.
Helpful debt payoff posts:
- The Benefits of Living On One Income While You Pay Off Debt
- How to Stay Motivated When Debt Payoff Gets Hard
- Pay off Debt Without Living Like a Cheapskate
Did I really waste this much money?
How in the wide world did I spend that much money? I would come home from shopping and think I got a great deal on clearance rack clothes.
When I would march in the house I would say things like, “All of this was only $50!” Not realizing of course that I was paying massive interest and if I had bought nothing I would still have $50.
Sure, it wouldn’t have been so bad if $50 was all I had on my credit card. But let’s not forget about:
- Spending $50 on clearance the month before
- $100 for dinners we didn’t budget for
- $2,000 we spent on souvenirs when we were on vacation.
Yes…we charged up around $2,000 to take a vacation. Purchases included Starbucks every day, M&Ms, and alcohol. All wise decisions, am I right?
It’s hard to even fathom that I made these terrible decisions and now I am left un-doing what was done. 16 Sneaky Ways to Save Money on Vacation
We will never catch back up
This thought is one that I know isn’t true. We will absolutely catch up, we will build up smart savings and keep ourselves out of that kind of debt forever. I know we will.
But right now, it doesn’t feel like it.
When I set aside $1,000 to put toward debt payment then Tom tells me he needs new tires on his car and mine needs work too, I want to tell him he’d better start Flinstoning his ass to work because we need to pay off our debt.
How are we ever supposed to get ahead in life? Paying cash for things feels impossible most days.
Yes, I’m so thankful we can pay off our doctor bills when they come. Sure, I’m so thankful we don’t have to scramble to find the money for new tires. But when will it end?! End the madness, please.
Can we just sell our house and start again?
Tom and I sat around strategizing how to get more money to just throw at our final debt payments (that I feel like I have been paying off for 700 years.) How can we come up with a quick $10,000? It can’t be that hard. Really.
Honestly part of me thinks, “Let’s just sell everything else that we own. We can live with lawn chairs and a canoe like they did on Friends.”
Tom didn’t seem totally on board with this idea.
We already sold our kitchen table, read all about it in my post, 39 Crazy Things We Did to Get Out of Debt on One Income. Clearly, we’re ok without a kitchen table. May as well toss in the couch, dressers, beds, and TVs while we’re at it!
What am I even working for?
You may or may not have seen me smiling away and chatting all about how I have started to make thousands of dollars each month from blogging. It’s great, isn’t it?
Not when every single penny I earn goes right back toward the debt I racked up over 3 years ago. That feels pretty un-cool.
When I see other people growing their business, investing in advertising, or visiting amazing conferences in Florida I want to scream.
Don’t get me wrong, I invest back in the blog, I think that’s the best way to make money. But most of what I make ends up going right toward debt.
This makes me so frustrated that I feel like giving up on debt payoff all together. Do you have any idea how many tropical, all-inclusive vacations we could have taken this year if it weren’t for debt? So many. So many.
I will never do this again
This is the kicker. The absolute best part of this entire post. So if you read this whole thing and thought, “Man, this girl is a real complainer.” Just wait, I’m getting to the good part.
Feeling all of these negative, self-defeating emotions can do 2 things for you in life:
- Make you totally give up
- Make you rise to the occasion, learn from your mistakes, and never dig yourself into the same hole ever again.
I will never do this again.
Why would I voluntarily put myself through this slow form of torture? Certainly not for a pair of shoes. Not for a car. Not even for a week-long vacation in my bikini with a margarita attached to my hand. No thank you to all of that nonsense. That was the old me. The new me knows better.
If you are full-swing stuck in debt payoff mode like me, I hope you can relate to all of this. If not all of it, I hope this last one resonates with you. Don’t ever do this again!